January Fiction Releases

Hi Friends, Are you looking for new novels to read this month? Below you’ll find the latest releases from American Christian Fiction Writer Authors and other author friends:

Contemporary Romance:

Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley by Valerie Comer, Mary Jane Hathaway, Elizabeth Maddrey, Danica Favorite, Lee Tobin McClain and Annalisa Daughety — Is love possible for a makeshift mom and a handsome widower? What about a bed and breakfast owner and the farmer next door? A curvy jilted bride and a mysterious, handsome chef? Then there’s the real estate consultant and the grandson of her elderly client; a high-powered lawyer and a woman farmer, and a formerly engaged couple. Can love make a difference in their lives? Exploring food, friends, and family in Arcadia Valley, each of these novellas kicks off a three-book series, intertwined with the works of the other authors. This collection is only the beginning of your adventure! (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Restoring Love by Jennifer Slattery — Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. As Mitch struggles to keep his business afloat, and Angela works to correct the mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends discover they have something unexpected in common–a young mom fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back from redemption and true love? (Contemporary Romance from New Hope Publishers)

Historical Mystery:

Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering — Drew and Madeline Farthering visit the Yorkshire moor to catch a killer and solve a mystery that involves an old feud, a new rivalry and a huge, spectral hound that may or may not be a harbinger of death. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])

 

Historical Romance:

Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz — After fleeing Virginia, Temperance Tucker and her family established an inn along the Shawnee River. It’s a welcome way station for settlers and frontiersmen traveling through the wild Cumberland region of Kentucke–men like Sion Morgan, a Virginia surveyor who arrives at the inn with his crew looking for an experienced guide. When his guide appears, Sion balks. He certainly didn’t expect a woman. But it is not long before he must admit that Tempe’s skill in the wilderness rivals his own. Still, the tenuous tie they are forming is put to the test as they encounter danger after danger and must rely on each other.

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green — After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

 

At Your Request by Jen Turano — After her father lost the family fortune, Wilhelmina was cast out of the fashionable set and banished to the wallflower section. She is mortified when her friend Edgar returns to society for the first time since she rejected his proposal. Ashamed of her fall from grace, she tries to avoid him, but is there still hope for their friendship–or something more?

 

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander — A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to get an audition at the newly-formed Nashville Philharmonic. But the conductor–determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music–bows to public opinion. Women are “far too fragile and frail” for the rigors of an orchestra, he says, and Rebekah’s hopes are swiftly dashed. Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville’s new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse–and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head–he must finish composing his symphony before the new opera hall opens. But far more pressing, he must finish it for his dying father, who inspired his love of music. Then Tate’s ailment worsens. Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman’s trust when you’ve robbed her of her dream? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The American Heiress Brides Collection by Lisa Carter, Mary Eileen Davis, Susanne Dietze, Anita Mae Draper, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Lisa Karon Richardson, Lynette Sowell and Kimberley Woodhouse — Meet nine young women in America between 1880 and 1911 who have been blessed by fortunes made in gold, silver, industry, ranching, and banking. But when it comes to love, each woman struggles to find true love within a society where “first comes money, second comes marriage.” What kind of man can they trust with their greatest treasure—their hearts? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Two Suitors for Anna by Molly Jebber — In 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for with her beloved Noah Schwartz, and a new, very different future… But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves. Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share… (Historical Romance from Kensington)

My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas by Erica Vetsch — Journey to Fort Bliss, Texas, where a battle of emotions versus ideals is about to be waged. When a high-steppin’ eastern fashion artist, Priscilla Hutchens, swoops down on the fort to gain custody of her twin niece and nephew she is met with resistance by their uncle, post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder, who thinks he knows what is best for them. Who will win the battle? Or will a truce be called for the sake of love and family? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Dead Run by Jodie Bailey — Kristin James’s morning run turns deadly when she’s attacked by a stranger who’s after something her deceased soldier brother stole overseas. Her neighbor Sergeant First Class Lucas Murphy steps in to help her and won’t let her brush the attack under the rug. He’ll do everything he can to keep Kristin alive, but he can’t tell her that he’s under orders to investigate her link to her brother’s misdeeds. Kristin has no idea what the bad guy is after and doesn’t want to believe that her brother wasn’t on the straight and narrow. But as evidence against him piles up, can they catch the criminals without becoming the next casualties? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley — It’s been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn’t actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, the person who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in one week–including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [Baker])

Undercover Protector by Elizabeth Goddard — Undercover at a tiger sanctuary, Special Agent Grayson Wilde is convinced the owner’s involved in a wildlife trafficking ring–until someone tries to kill her. Gemma’s determined to rebuild the tiger oasis she lost when her family died, but someone wants her out of the way, and she’s starting to wonder if her parents’ and uncle’s deaths were really accidental. Grayson says he’ll do anything to protect Gemma, but she can’t shake the feeling that her alluring new volunteer might not be all that he seems. With a vicious criminal closing in, though, she has to trust Grayson…because she won’t survive without him. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Buried Memories by Carol J. Post — A soldier hero suffering from PTSD and a young woman struggling to overcome a traumatic childhood fight for their lives and find healing together. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Still Life by Dani Pettrey — Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright–and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart. Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead–and the photographer insists he didn’t take the shot. Worse, her friend can’t be found. She immediately calls Parker for help. As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Supernatural Thriller:

Fatal Accusation by Rachel Dylan — Attorney Olivia Murray hopes her life in Windy Ridge will get back to normal after a hard-fought trial. But she soon finds out that the forces of evil have not given up. An embezzling scandal rocks the community church to its core. The New Age groups are ready to declare victory when a high-profile prosecutor files criminal charges against the local pastor. However, Olivia is not willing to give up on the community she’s come to love. She takes on the defense pro bono knowing it could destroy her career, but it’s a case she is called to defend. The battle will be fierce, but she’s not fighting it alone. Her friend and fellow attorney Grant Baxter is by her side. Olivia must use all the tools in her arsenal to combat those who seek to destroy the believers in the community. If Olivia can’t prove the pastor’s innocence, more than her career is on the line. The entire community of Windy Ridge could fall to the forces of darkness. (Supernatural Thriller, Independently Published)

Books Like Downton Abbey ~ Part 2

Downton Abbey Cast

Hi Friends,

The new season of Downton Abbey has finally arrived . . . but what will Downton fans do when season six comes to an end? They could watch reruns of the series, or they could read novels set in the same time period. Here are several that I’ve enjoyed and my three latest, which are all set in the early 1900s in England:

Not By SightNot By Sight by Kate Breslin

In the spring of 1917, all of Britain’s attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines. Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.

A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country’s cause. Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball. But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Jack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.

The Lost HeiressThe Lost Heiress by Roseanne White

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she’s British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook’s friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close–but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother. As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

GovernessThe Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.

Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.

DaughterHighlandHall_cvrThe Daughter of Highland Hall By Carrie Turansky

Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.

When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love-and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.

Refuge at Highland HallA Refuge at Highland Hall By Carrie Turansky

In this third and final book in the Edwardian Brides Series set in 1915 England and France the Ramsey family and their staff and friends face the dramatic challenges and losses of World War One, yet they also experience the hope and triumph that comes as they put their trust in God to carry them through. Penny Ramsey helps the family welcome a group of orphaned children to Highland Hall, but she soon discovers caring for them is more difficult than she’d expected. She writes to Alex Goodwin, a daring British pilot, who chases German zeppelins across the sky over the Front Line in France, and longs for the day she will see him again. You’ll be delighted by two pure and heartwarming romances: Penny and Alex, and Lydia Chambers and Marius Ritter, a lady’s maid and a prisoner of war.

The ThornbearerThe Thornbearer by Pepper Basham

From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all.

When her fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman?

In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone. Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend’s former fiancé and his own childhood companion.

As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship. When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of war and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough – or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.

The Thorn KeeperThe Thorn Keeper by Pepper Basham

With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope? Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.

David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice. When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever. Releases February 28, 2016!

Hope RisingHope Rising by Stacie Henrie

What a heart-warming, emotion wringing, beautiful tale of love lost, found and given during a very hard time. This author paints a picture with words of war time sufferings, pains and triumphs for those of us who will never know. A story that flows and takes you along for the well-written ride of a book life-time. War-time nurse Evelyn has some tough life changes happening to her. Corporal Joel has to deal with injuries, healing, and guilt. Sorrow and changes haunt them both as they try to discover if an answer is sitting right in front of them. Gods answer to their dreams is not what they expected but amazingly so much more than they ever could have dreamed! I truly loved the budding romance between these two memorable characters. It was beautiful and believable. The secondary cast of characters were engaging and interesting as well. The perfect pairing of war-time information and background mixed with the lives and feelings of these people made this a deeply engaging page-turner.

A Hope RememberedHope Remembered by Stacie Henrie

Nora Lewis just wants an escape after losing her fiance in the Great War. When she inherits property in England, she boldly packs up and leaves America for a fresh start. But, if not for her dashing new neighbor, Colin Ashby, she’d be lost. Even as their friendship deepens, Nora knows a British aristocrat would never be free to love an American orphan, no matter how much the war has changed the world …

After his brother’s death in the war and his own experiences as a pilot at the front, Colin returns home broken, only to discover his family’s estate is also in ruin. The pressure is now on him to save his home and the Ashbys’ place in society with a well-bred match to a wealthy heiress. Too bad he finds more of a kindred spirit in Nora, the beautiful American next door. She, too, has faced the rigors of war and survived. Now the ex-soldier will have one more battle to fight–this time for love.

Did you read my earlier post: Books Like Downton Abbey Part One?

Downton Abbey Read Alike Poster_2

Happy Reading to All!

Carrie

 

New Audio Book and Giveaway

Daughter of Highland Hall AudioHi Friends,

Have you ever listened to an audio book? When The Governess of Highland Hall released in audio a few months ago, I decided to download it and listen. And I was surprised to discover I loved hearing the story read aloud, not just because I’d written it, but because the narrator’s style and pace allowed me to picture the story in my mind and enjoy it in a new way.

Since then I’ve listened to Jan Karon’s new book, Somewhere Safe and Somebody Good, and I loved it! I listened to Edenbrooke and Blackmoore, both by Julianne Donaldson. They are beautiful Regency romances, very clean and proper. And I also enjoyed Sarah Ladd’s newest book, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall. I recommend all these books to you!

Governess Audio CoverWould you like your own audio copy of The Governess of Highland Hall and The Daughter of Highland Hall?  Just visit my book page, and you’ll find links to Tantor Audio and Amazon for Audible.

If you’d like to try out an audio book and see if you enjoy listening, Aduible, an Amazon company, offers a free 30-trial period. That’s what I did for the first month, thinking, “I’ll just try it for free and then close my account. But I enjoyed it so much, and the price was so reasonable, that I decided to continue on. Here’s a link to Audible to learn more.

cturansky-2lowI’d like to introduce two of my reading friends to the joy of listening to audio books, so I’m giving away a CD set of The Governess of Highland Hall and another CD set of The Daughter of Highland Hall this weekend. Just leave a comment below and tell me which set you’d like. I’ll choose a winner for each set on Sunday evening, Novemlber 9th and post the winner on Monday.

Thanks for your interest in my books and for sharing the journey with me!

Blessings and Happy Reading . . . and listening,

Carrie

Song of the Prairie

Hi Friends,

Today I want to welcome my good friend and fellow author, Vickie McDonough, to my blog. Vickie writes inspirational prairie romances that have won multiple awards. Vickie’s newest book, Song of the Prairie, just released! It’s book 3 in the Pioneer Promises Series.

Vickie, please tell us about the heroine in the story.

songofprairie

Janie Dunn’s dream of being an opera singer suddenly fades when, at her dying cousin’s request, she flees Boston with her deceased cousin’s newborn son to protect him from his abusive father. She moves to Kansas to live with her brother, but life takes another dire change when he is suddenly killed. Is a marriage of convenience the answer to her problems? Is Kansas far enough away from Boston that they are safe from the baby’s vengeful father?

What can you tell us about the hero?

I loved writing my hero, Aaron Harper. He’s the oldest of the three Harper brothers and has waited patiently for me to tell his story in the final book of the series. He’s such a good, honorable man, but he’s troubled because he was unable to make his first wife happy. He feels partly responsible for her death even though he wasn’t. I loved giving him the woman he deserves—a woman who could love him as much as he loves her.

vickieM

What type of reserach did you do for this story?

I had to do quite a bit of research for Janie’s character. Her dream is to be an opera star and sing on the big stage—and she has the voice for it—but the right doors haven’t opened for her. I had to study opera a bit and learn some musical terminology to make creative analogies and metaphors for her character.

This sounds like a great story! I know readers are going to enjoy it.

What are the titles of the other books in the series?

Whispers on the Prairie and Call of the Prairie.Call of the Prairie

Whispers on the Prairie

We are giving away a copy of Song of the Prairie to one person who leaves a comment. I’ll choose a winner on Sunday, August 17th. US entries only.

Blessings and Happy Reading!

Carrie

 

Giveaway ~ Celebrating 100 5-Star Reviews on Amazon!

The governess of Highland HallHi Friends,

The Governess of Highland Hall has received over 100 5-Star Reviews on Amazon, and it’s time to celebrate! As a way to say thank you to my friends and help more readers discover this story . . . I’m hosting this fun giveaway of Highland Hall themed gifts. See the photo and list of items below.

I purchased the recipe book, tea towel, and bluebell sachet in England on my last trip. So they’ve traveled all around the UK and back home with me . . . and I’m excited to share them with you!

Giveaway  Celebrating 100 5-Star Reviews

The items in the Giveaway include:

  • Two English Bone China Teacups
  • Tea Towel from England’s Lake District (Home of Beatrix Potter)
  • Bluebell Sachet
  • Vintage Teatime Recipe Book
  • Scone Mix
  • Orange Marmalade and Raspberry Jam
  • Box of Twinnings Tea
  • The Daughter of Highland Hall Postcards and Bookmarks
  • An Autographed Copy of The Governess of Highland Hall

Everyone who enters the giveaway will receive email updates from me, so you’ll be the first to know when I have a new release or free eBook available.

The Giveaway runs from August 2 – 8. I’ll notify the winner by email after the giveaway closes. Please share this link with your friends!

****Update! The Winner of the giveaway is LouAnn C. Congratulations! I’ve emailed you with details on how to claim your prize. I hope you enjoy a specail teatime with a friend.

Happy Reading,

Carrie

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until That Distant Day

Until That Distant DayHi Friends,

Today I wanted to introduce you to Jill Stengl, the author of Until That Distant Day. Jill  is the author of numerous romance novels including Faithful Traitor, which was the winner of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award and Carol Award. She lives with her husband in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she enjoys her three cats, teaching high school literature classes, playing keyboard for her church family, and sipping coffee on the deck as she brainstorms for her next novel.

Here’s a summary of Until That Distant Day:

Jill StenglParis, 1792

Colette and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.

But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.
Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?

 How did you first start writing historical romance novels?

I began writing my first historical romance novel in 1991, shortly after my husband returned from the first Gulf War. We were living in England at the time and the Internet was still unknown to me, so communicating with publishers was a slow process. I did have a major CBA publishing house ask to see the complete manuscript of that first effort, which was encouraging. However, I have been thankful ever since that they turned it down. Yes, it was that bad!

What was your first published book?

I then decided to target a short contemporary romance at Heartsong Presents, writing about what I knew: military life in England. My hero was a fighter pilot based at RAF Lakenheath, naturally. I wrote the story by the publisher’s guidelines, printed it, and mailed it out in July 1994. After three months I telephoned Barbour Publishing and talked to Rebecca Germany, who sweetly informed me that yes, they had received my manuscript, and it was being read by their readers. I had no idea what this meant, but at least it was not a “no, thank you.” In July 1995, one year after mailing the manuscript off, I wrote a follow-up letter of inquiry, drove to the base post office, and dropped it into the mailbox. Then I walked over to check our P.O. Box, and—believe it or not—waiting there was my letter of acceptance! Eagle Pilot was published in autumn of 1996.

Then what happened? How many books have you published?

I wrote a total of eight Heartsong Presents books and eight novellas for Barbour Publishing, and they were wonderful to me! Some of my stories are now being reprinted in collections, which is fun. But after many years of writing genre romance, I burned out. The joy of writing was gone. I had no fresh ideas. So I turned my literary love toward helping other authors launch their own careers, which I found to be, in some ways, more gratifying than the success of my own books. And now those authors are returning the love by helping me! I am particularly proud of my daughter, multi-award-winning fantasy author Anne Elisabeth Stengl, who has taught me far more about literature and writing craft than I ever taught her!

So how did Until That Distant Day come to be?

Anne Elisabeth has been encouraging me for years to get back into writing and to push myself to write a longer, deeper novel than anything I had previously attempted. I tried and failed several times over before deciding to rewrite and expand one of my old novellas. This makes me laugh now, for Until That Distant Day resembles that original novella only in that both are set in Paris during the early days of the French Revolution. It required many drafts before reaching its current form—my daughter is easily the toughest manuscript editor I’ve ever had! But the end result is deeply satisfying to me, and I adore the cover!

You can learn more about and her books on Jill’s Author blog. Or on her Book page. She would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Goodreads.

You can purchase a copy of Until That Distant Day on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Happy Reading!

Carrie

A Promise Kept

A Promise Kept coverA promise from God is a promise kept

Robin Lee Hatcher draws on her own personal pain to illustrate God’s goodness.

Hi Friends, today I wanted to share news about a novel that has just released from one of my author friends. It’s a story that comes from her heart, I believe it will touch yours!

When Robin Lee Hatcher’s marriage ended in divorce, she was devastated.I’d been so convinced God had promised me that He would save our marriage,” the author says, but she quickly learned that sometimes God answers prayer in the most unexpected ways. In the following years, God used the pain of what appeared to be a failed marriage to draw her closer to Him. In A Promise Kept Robin draws on that personal pain to craft a story about a woman married to an alcoholic, a woman who has to learn the value and importance of surrendering everything to the Lord.

Despite the similarities to her own life, Robin notes, “Allison’s life is not the same as mine. I didn’t retreat to a mountain cabin nor have an aunt whose journals helped me discover truths I needed to know, nor did I withdraw from God during the depths of my grief as Allison does. But every lesson God teaches me eventually makes its way into one of my stories. That was certainly true of A Promise Kept.”

In A Promise Kept, Allison finds herself divorced despite her long-held belief that God would save her marriage. She’s left asking, “What became of God’s promise?” Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, then married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.

The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum to get and stay sober or leave, she thought it might save their marriage. She never expected he would actually choose to walk out the door. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear she’d misunderstood. Now, living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant great aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small-town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.

As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Has she really surrendered every piece of her life to the Lord?

Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption and eventual reconciliation with her husband, A Promise Kept is Robin’s emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who keeps His promises. “I hope readers will be encouraged to keep walking forward,” Robin says. “I hope, if they are in a troubled marriage, that they will seek God with their whole hearts and not act out of selfishness but out of obedience. I hope reading A Promise Kept will deepen their faith in a God who answers prayers, in His own way and His own time.”

Robin Lee Hatcher will be hosting a Facebook party on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM EST to chat with readers about A Promise Kept, give away copies of the book and reveal the grand prize winner of a social media giveaway. More details will be available on her Facebook page.

Advance Praise for A Promise Kept

“A beautiful, heart-touching story of God’s amazing grace, and how He can restore and make new that which was lost.”

~  Francine Rivers, New York Times bestselling author

“Hatcher’s beautifully crafted tale alternates between the past and the present. Allison and Emma are incredibly relatable characters, and readers are able to examine their own lives through the mirror of the novel’s events. Filled with family and faith, the author’s phrasing is exquisite and a treat to savor.”

~ RT Book Reviews Top Pick

Robin-Lee-HatcherBest-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. Winner of the Christy, the RITA, the Carol, the Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and many other awards, Hatcher is also a recipient of the prestigious RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the author of 70 novels and novellas with more than five million copies in print.

Hatcher enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. Her main hobby (when time allows) is knitting, and she has a special love for making prayer shawls. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband, Jerry, make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet, the high-maintenance Papillon and Princess Pinky, the DC (demon cat).

For more information about Hatcher and her books, visit her online home at www.robinleehatcher.com, become a fan on Facebook (robinleehatcher) or follow her on Twitter (@robinleehatcher). 

 

 


Christmas Read-Alouds Everyone Can Enjoy

Hi Friends,

Reading aloud is such a wonderful way to bring family and friends closer and share a special experience together. We homeschooled our five children, and reading aloud was always one of my favorite parts of the day. We read the Bible aloud, and we often read historical fiction or award winning childrens’ books to compliment what we were learning. We also have a special collection of Christmas books that we bring down each December to enjoy together.

Here are some of our favorites:

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan ToomeyThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechoski

“Christmas is pish-posh,” grumbles Jonathan Toomey, the best wood carver in the valley. He’s a Scroogelike recluse; but he has a gentle grouch, and it turns out that he hides a sad secret. He is transformed, not by Dickensian ghosts, but by an eager seven-year-old boy and his widowed mother who ask him to make carve a Christmas creche. The spirit of Christmas heals a sorrowing woodcarver’s heart in this splendid edition of a holiday classic. Lynch’s beautiful illustrations, in shades of wood grain, are both realistic and gloriously romantic, focusing on faces and hands at work before the fire and in the lamplight. This is wonderful read-aloud story that even young children will enjoy. Amazon link.

christmas-on-jane-street-billy-romp-hardcover-cover-artChristmas on Jane Street by Billy Romp

The warm, wonderful, real-life tale of the family that brings the Christmas spirit to life on a street corner in Manhattan. Every holiday season for nearly twenty years, Billy Romp, his wife, and their three children have spent nearly a month living in a tiny camper and selling Christmas trees on Jane Street in New York City. They arrive from Vermont the day after Thanksgiving and leave just in time to make it home for Christmas morning—and for a few weeks they transform a corner of the Big Apple into a Frank Capra-esque small town alive with heartwarming holiday spirit.

Christmas on Jane Street is about the transformative power of love—love of parent and child, of merchant and customer, of stranger and neighbor. The ideal Christmas story, it is about the lasting and profound difference that one person can make to a family and one family can make to a community. Amazon link.

An Edwardian ChristmasAn Edwardian Christmas by John L. Goodall

This small book is a treasure! It is all illustrations with no text, but each page follows the story of a family visiting wealthy relatives in a large country house during Edwardian times. Depicted in loving detail, is Christmas as it was at the beginning of the twentieth century, indoors and out, above stairs and below, as seen through the eyes of a boy and girl. My favorite illustrations are of the family walking to church by starlight, and everyone gathered to play games on Christmas Day. It was first published in 1978, so you may want to look for a used copy online.

Peter Spire's Christmas!Peter Spires Christmas!

This is also a wordless picture book by the Caldecott Medal-winning artist of Noah’s Ark, and it contains more than ninety full-color paintings capturing the spirit and joy of Christmas through the delights of three young children. My children all loved this when they were young, and it can be enjoyed by preschoolers through adults.  First published in 1996, you will also want to look for a used copy online.

Some of the other books in our collection include:

Esther’s Gift by Jan Karon, A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg, The Christmas Cross by Max Lucado, A Little House Christmas by Laura Ingles Wilder, A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, Mary’s First Christmas by Walter Wagerin Jr., Christmas at Long Pond by William T. George, The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, Christmas by Jan Pienkowski, Santa Are You For Real by Harold Myra, The Nutcracker, A Three Dimensional Story Book Illustrated by Michael Welply, The Christmas Stories of George MacDonald, Mele Kalikimaka, Christmas in Hawaii by Julie Mehta, and The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Do you enjoy reading aloud? Can you add a favorite Christmas story to our list?

Books Like Downton Abbey

 

Main-Image-Downton-Abbey-Series-4
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hi Friends, Are you a Downton Abbey fan? I’ve enjoyed the series, and I loved visiting Highclere where Downton Abbey is filmed. Here’s a list of inspirational novels set in the same time period, the early 1900’s in England and the US. Happy Reading!
 
 
 
 

GovernessFINAL_HAT_CVR-11)    Edwardian Brides Series, by Carrie Turansky

Book 1: The Governess of Highland Hall 

Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help?

Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.

Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.

While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

Promise me This2) Promise Me This, By Cathy Gohlke

Michael Dunnagan survived the sinking of the Titanic, thanks to the courage of Owen Allen, and promised to help Owen’s family, his younger sister, Annie, in England and the rest of the family living in New Jersey, since Owen could not. Michael started to communicate to Annie through letters, but her anger over her brother’s death was steeped in each of her responses. Eventually, Annie begins to lay aside her anger and their letters become friendlier. Michael saves up enough money to bring Annie to America just as WWI breaks out in Europe…then all communication with Annie ceases!

Band of Sister3) Band of Sisters, by Cathy Gohlke

Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.

Love at Any Cost4)  The Heart of Sanfrancisco Series, By Julie Lessman

Book 1 Love at Any Cost 

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself bucked by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can’t buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

With delectable descriptions and a romantic sensibility, bestselling author Julie Lessman brings the Gilded Age to life in this sumptuous new series. Readers will faithfully follow Lessman to the West Coast for more romance, passion, and surprising revelations found in Love at Any Cost.

Dave to Love Again5) Book 2: Dare To Love Again

Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman, resorting to a mammoth hat pin for protection on her way to and from the school where she teaches. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast she quickly discovers she is no match for rum-soaked brute strength.

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite jiu-jitsu, but it seems he has little choice in the matter. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But when Nick suddenly leaves town, Allison realizes he’s a fraud just like all the rest of the men she’s cared for. Does she dare love again?

The lushness of the glorious Gilded Age beautifully showcases Lessman’s passion as a writer in this engaging love story written with humor and heart. From the glamour of San Francisco’s Nob Hill to the seedy gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, Dare to Love Again is a journey to find a love that never fails. Fans will love revisiting the world of the cousins McClare, and new readers will seek more of Julie’s passion-filled novels.

Bees in the Butterfly Garden6) The Gilded Legacy series by Maureen Lang

Book 1: Bees in the Butterfly Garden

Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue’s finest, Meg Davenport has all she’s ever needed . . . but none of the things she’s wanted most, like family or dreams of a future that include anything other than finding a suitable match. So when her distant father dies, she seizes the chance to throw etiquette aside and do as she pleases. Especially when she learns that John Davenport wasn’t the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age’s most talented thieves.

Poised to lead those loyal to Meg’s father, Ian Maguire knows the last thing his mentor would have wanted is for his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet Meg is determined, and her connections to one of New York’s wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet. But are they both in over their heads? And in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?

All in Good Time7) Book 2: All in Good Time

Dessa Caldwell has a dream: to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan, and nearly every bank in town has turned her down. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he’s the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he’s built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell ventures into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

Glamorous Illusions8)  The Grand Tour Series by Lisa T. Bergren

Book 1: Glamorous Illusions

When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.

9) Book 2: Grave Consequences

For Cora Kensington, the journey of a lifetime takes unexpected twists. And her future—her very life—depends on the decisions she’ll make at each crossroad. As her European tour with her newfound family takes her through Austria, France, and Italy, an unseen enemy trails close behind. Meanwhile, a forbidden love continues to claim her heart, putting everyone’s plans in danger.

And as Cora stays one step ahead of it all, what might need the most protection is her own heart, torn between the dramatic pursuit of a dashing Frenchman and a man who has been quietly staking claim to her affections all along. Love has dangers all its own. She must escape the bonds of the past and discover the faith to make the right choices, as each one has grave consequences.

Glittering Promises10) Book 3: Glittering Promises 

Hounded by journalists chasing the beguiling story of the newest American heiress, Cora fights to remain true to her past, reconcile her present, and still embrace her future. But as Will struggles with her newfound wealth, she begins to wonder if their love is strong enough to withstand all that threatens to pull them apart.

Complicating matters is the stubborn pursuit of Pierre de Richelieu and the increased demands on her time and attention. Cora must stand up for what she believes—regardless of how that might challenge current family and cultural norms—in order to remain true to who she really is.

And as she glimpses the end of the tour, Cora knows it’s time to decide Who and what defines her … and who and what does not.

Heiress11)   Daughters of Fortune Series, by Susan May Warren

 Book One: Heiress

The beautiful heiress daughters of newspaper magnate August Price have been given everything their hearts desire. But what if they want only to be loved–without an enormous price tag attached? When one daughter pursues a desirable marriage, she secures for herself a comfortable and glamorous life. But among the duties of privilege, will she also find the happily-ever-after she seeks? Her sister rejects the trappings of wealth, choosing instead to build a new life on the still-untamed frontier. Will she find happiness in independence or discover that she’s left her heart behind in New York’s glittering society? Set in the opulent world of the Gilded Age, each woman discovers that being an heiress just might cost her everything–including the chance for true love.

Baroness12) Book 2: Baroness

Lilly and Rosie, daughters of an empire coming of age in the roaring twenties, can have anything they want…except freedom.  Expected to marry well and to take the reins of the empire, they have their lives planned out for them.  But, Lilly, Esme’s daughter longs to return home to Montana, to adventure outside the confines of New York City.  And Jinx’s daughter Rosie dreams of the bright lights of the newly emerging silver screen.  But following their dreams – from avant garde France, to Broadway, to the skies in the world of barnstormers and wing-walkers will take all their courage.  And if they find love, will they choose freedom or happily ever after?

Duchess13) Book 3: Duchess

When her country needs her, will she have the courage to surrender her glittering world and her one true love?

The golden age of Hollywood is in the business of creating stars. Rosie Worth, now starlet Roxy Price, has found everything she’s wanted in the glamour of the silver screen. With adoring fans and a studio-mogul husband, she’s finally silenced the voices—and grief—of the past. Her future shines bright…until the fated Black Friday when it all comes crashing down. When Roxy loses everything, she finds herself disgraced and penniless. Her only hope is to join forces with Belgian duke Rolfe Van Horne, a longtime film investor. But Rolfe is not who he seems, and he has other plans for Roxy and her movies—plans to support a growing unrest in Europe, plans that could break her heart and endanger her life.

Ashton Park14) The Danforths of Lancanshire Series

Book One:  Ashton Park by Murray Pura

Among the green hills and trees of Lancashire, only a few miles from the sea, lies the beautiful and ancient estate of Ashton Park. The year is 1916. The First World War has engulfed Europe and Sir William’s and Lady Elizabeth’s three sons are all in uniform–and their four daughters are involved in various pursuits of the heart and soul.

As the head of a strong Church of England family for generations, Sir William insists the Danforth estate hold morning devotions that include both family and staff. However, he is also an MP and away at Westminster in London whenever Parliament is sitting. During his long absences, Lady Elizabeth discreetly spends time in the company of the head cook of the manor, Mrs. Longstaff, who is her best friend and confidante. This friendship includes visits to a small Baptist church in Liverpool that exposes Lady Elizabeth to a less formal approach to Christian worship and preaching than she is used to and which she comes to enjoy.

Readers will follow Ashton Park’s charming upstairs/downstairs characters through the perils of war and the affairs of the heart with relish.

Beneath A Dover Sky15) Book 2: Beneath a Dover Sky

The second book in the series transports the reader back in time to 1924 as Sir William—recently named Lord Preston—celebrates his sixtieth birthday at the Danforth summer home in Dover. Although the ravages of World War I are in the past, new threats loom as a man named Adoph Hitler publishes a book called Mein Kampf. Is he a danger to Europe? And what of Lord Preston’s growing friendship with an up and coming political leader named Winston Churchill? On the home front, one of the Danforth daughters, the recently widowed Catherine, sells her home in Belfast to spend more time at Dover—where she finds herself annoyed at the impertinent German theologian her father has befriended. The entire Danforth family faces many changes as illness and tragedy strike. Young Edward finally makes his move into the political arena while Michael and Libby welcome a new family member. Readers will be captivated by the upstairs/downstairs interplay as they once again savor this compelling saga of the well-loved Danforth family overcoming obstacles by placing their trust in the God who has always been faithful.

More books like Downton Abbey:

Downton Abbey Read Alike Poster_2

 

 

 

 

Read Part 2  – More Books Like Downton Abbey.

Amanda Dykes contributed to this post. To learn more about Amanda check out her website.

 



She Does Good Hair by Terri Gillespie

She Does Good HairHi Friends,

Today I am celebrating the launch of a wonderful new eBook, She Does Good Hair, by Terri Gillespie

Here is my 5-Star review:

What a great story! Terri Gillespie has created characters that step off the page and into your heart. She Does Good Hair is a modern Ruth and Naomi story featuring Shira, a successful stylist with all kinds of issues, who inherits her aunts rundown salon with the provision that she must keep on the three stylist who work there. But those stylists are not so sure they want to work with Shira. There’s drama and romance and some wonderful lessons to take to heart. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry and I think you’ll be very glad you downloaded this wonderful novel! I highly recommend it!

Terri is hosting several fun events to celebrate the launch of She Does Good Hair.

Terri GillespieOnline Chat with Terri Gillespie

Grab your copy of She Does Good Hair and join Terri for a live author video chat on Thursday, October 3rd at 8:00 PM EDT (that’s 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)!

Terri will be hosting the chat and Q&A, as well as announcing a grand prize winner at the end! There will  be plenty of fun giveaways during the course of the party! Follow this link to register for this fun event.

Terri's book launch party

Book Launch Party

On Saturday, Oct.5, 3:00 – 5:00pm Salon Bella Gente, is hosting a fabulous event to celebrate one of their clients’ newest eBook, She Does Good Hair, by Terri Gillespie! Prizes, complimentary blow drys, refreshments, and some surprises! Bring your KINDLE, iPod, laptop, or smart phone to download this wonderfully funny and endearing novel.Here is the link to RSVP and see the details!

She Does Good Hair Prize

Grand Prize Giveaway

SHE DOES GOOD HAIR GIVEAWAY! Participants in the Release Day, Salon, and Chat Events are automatically entered into the big giveaway! The winner will receive the official SHE DOES GOOD HAIR tote filled with surprises–valued at over $75! Attendees to two or more events increase their chances of winning.

You can connect with Terri on Facebook, and you can learn more about Terri and her books here!